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Sales, Marketing, Promotion

   To successfully take your products to market, you'll need to determine the most effective methods of sales management.  Your goal should be not only to sell product, but to do it in a way that achieves the highest level of visibility for your product, and sheds a positive light on you and your company.

   The success of your product remains in the hands of those that are responsible for marketing and selling it.  In your sales management strategy, you could use:

bulletBrokers
bulletIndependent Reps
bulletRely on Distributors
bulletMerchandising Services
bulletIn-House Sales Force  (on the payroll)
bulletAnother product marketing or sales company handle it for you
bulletYourself
bulletA combination of the solutions listed above.

   It all depends on what goals you wish to attain.  Find out all of the pluses and minuses of the various options in sales and marketing representation, before you decide what is right for you.  (Have a look at the Fooddude Resources and Links pages).

   No matter which method of sales management you chose to adopt, in order to sell your product, you have to have buyers.  Finding buyers is a science. (And, buyers like to feel like they've found YOU!)  Knowing where to look for them is the key.

   You must employ the most effective, and efficient ways of finding them.  From the design of sales and promotional materials, to identification of and participation at key trade shows, to manipulation of trade and consumer press; growing your prospect list and successfully establishing your buyer relationships requires ingenuity, diligence, and patience.

   Prepare forecasts and budgets for various vehicles.  Create an award-winning presence where it will do the most good.  Generate publicity or 'free' press.  Then, once the buyers have 'found' you, you have to get the right ones to buy your product.  Though your product may qualify for a buyer, not all buyers qualify for your product.  Don't forget the big picture.

   Once you've found the buyers you want, design and execute vertically integrated promotions that will excite your consumers, as well as each level of the distribution chain.  Just as every person has different tastes, what you present to different retailers in the way of promotional and point-of-purchase proposals, should reflect the unique way that specific retailers do things.  You must design your promotional, advertising, and merchandising materials to maximize flexibility and versatility, so that production costs are minimized while maintaining continuity throughout your promotion.  Of course, while building flexible or customized promotions, you must be considerate and compliant of applicable laws of fairness. Maintain honest and ethical ways.  It's good business and the easiest way to stay legal.

   Be creative, excited and engaging throughout the process.  Remember, most buyers allow only 10-15 minutes per presentation, so if you've traveled hundreds (or thousands) of miles for that meeting, you had better to walk in prepared to walk away with the order.

   After pro-actively designing and executing creative, unique, and effective promotions, quantify your success by utilizing the latest technologies to gather retail data to monitor sales and promotional effectiveness.

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